Lara Shortz leads the Labor & Employment Practice Group at M&R and is the firm’s Employment Advice, Counsel & Executive Disputes Chair. Operating out of the Los Angeles office, Lara is also the Firm Recruiting Partner and, in that capacity, she is tasked with implementing M&R’s strategic plan to expand upon its roster of talented attorneys nationwide.
Named in 2022 as one of the most influential women attorneys in L.A. by the Los Angeles Business Journal (recognition she has earned multiple times), Lara handles the full spectrum of employment-related issues on behalf of management. That being said, she is particularly known for her work advising domestic and international companies on major growth and hiring initiatives as well as workforce reductions. In fact, Lara handled the coordinated, temporary and permanent layoffs of thousands of hotel and restaurant employees (among others) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which involved state and federal WARN Act issues.
In addition, Lara is sought after to negotiate complex employment agreements, navigate restrictive covenant issues, and litigate executive disputes. Over the years, countless professionals in C-Suite positions have leaned upon her when transitioning to new companies.
In terms of her litigation prowess, Lara has compiled an extraordinary record of wins representing high-profile businesses facing state and federal gender-based claims, including claims of pay equity and #MeToo-related causes of action. Further, she has successfully defended scores of clients in the hospitality space, among other industries, in wage and hour class and collective actions (PAGA)—this on top of her many additional successes litigating single plaintiff discrimination, harassment and retaliation matters at both the state and federal levels.
Beyond the courtroom, a significant portion of Lara’s practice involves advice and counsel, as reflected in her chair designation. Not only does she provide guidance on a variety of legal and human resources issues (lawful hiring practices, leaves of absence, employee classification and wage and hour compliance), investigations (sexual harassment, discrimination and employee and executive misconduct), administrative and internal compliance audits, and supervisor and management trainings (including sexual harassment prevention), Lara also helps emerging companies establish their employment infrastructure in the form of policies, best practices and operational mechanisms to support growth and facilitate investment.